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Sep 27, 2017

Immigration Director Careful About Canceling Passports, Nationalities from A.G. Report

Among the recommendations by the Auditor General in her report is the complete revocation, pending investigation, of all nationality certificates and passports issued to the persons named in the report that were granted between 2011 and 2013. It’s a measure some, including Director of Immigration Diana Locke, deems drastic. The man who helped start it all, Won Hong Kim, certainly had his nationality and passport revoked, since it was clear that he was never in Belize and never qualified to be a Belizean.  But Locke tried to make the case that others who fell afoul of the law should be looked at a little more carefully.

 

Mark Lizarraga, Pro-tem Chair, Senate Special Select Committee

“Would you have a problem, Director, with following through on this recommendation? Do you think it is a good recommendation?”

 

Diana Locke

Diana Locke, Director of Immigration

“Based on the cases that I have seen, there are some which clearly I would definitely apply this to, and there are others that I would like to investigate and perhaps make a recommendation to find a solution. Because we have seen a number of things in this report, we have come across a number of cases and the indications are that those persons who lived their life for twenty years carrying a Belize passport, are in a position now where they thought that they had was legitimate was not issued in a proper fashion and we are in a position where we have to look at those cases and make a recommendation. In those cases I would hesitate to recommend that those documents be revoked unless there is a compelling reason, and we can’t leave people stateless, so that is also a consideration that has to be taken into account. In some cases – Mr. Kim, Ms. Shaw – those are people who declared who did not follow the procedures or in the case of Ms. Shaw, she responded to questions that indicated that she never set foot in Belize, never sat in front of one of our persons and so clearly that is a passport and a certificate that, in my opinion, can be revoked. But the other cases that I am aware of, that we still have sitting there pending at the Department – those are cases that I think merit some consideration and they need to be reviewed carefully before a decision is made.”

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